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Eye sights: The headlights of 2017

From popular Hondas to exclusive Rolls-Royce models

Sleek, domed, square, round, wrap-around, forward-facing, continuous, bright. Headlights are utilitarian... mostly. They illuminate the way. An obvious necessity, they might not appear as the most important design feature on a car, but as The Verge’s staff photographer, when I shoot cars, I have noticed that they determine the personality of the vehicle. The shape, type of bulb, and amount of omitted light have come a long way since the birth of automobiles — in fact the first cars didn’t even have headlights. They became commonplace in cars in the 1920s.

Contemporary cars generally use a variety of lighting systems. More economical cars have traditionally used halogen bulbs, a practical choice because of their low cost, and rugged, reliable nature. High intensity discharge (HID) bulbs are expensive, and high-definition LEDs even more so, which is why we see them on luxury vehicles, such as the Mercedes-Benz E400. Whatever the wattage or the bulb, I was drawn to photograph headlights because of how different they are from car to car. The closer you get to them, the more abstract they become, with layers of reflective materials, swoops of metal, or, in one case, an octogonal shiny casing around a bulb, and another that used patterned silver-white material surrounding it. There is immense visual variety and it’s always interesting.

At The Verge we cover a wide range of cars — from popular Hondas to exclusive Rolls-Royce models. Here are some of my favorite headlights from the many cars of 2017.

Hyundai Elantra
Mercedes-Benz E400
Audi S3
Rolls-Royce Phantom
Rolls-Royce Phantom
Rolls-Royce Dawn
Ford Fusion Energi
Lucid Motors Air prototype
Lucid Motors Air prototype
Volkswagen Atlas
Chevy Bolt
Chevy Bolt
Honda Odyssey
Jaguar F-Pace
Mercedes G-Wagon
Aston Martin
Toyota Highlander
Tesla P90D
Kia Soul Turbo
Audi 3S
Lexus LC 500
Lexus LC 500
Lexus LC 500
Porsche Panamera 4S (left) and BMW M760i (right)
BMW M760i
BMW M760i
Screendrive - Genesis G80 sport
Genesis G80 sport
Cadillac CT6
Cadillac CT6
Range Rover Velar
Porsche Panamera 4S
BMW i3 – 94 Ah
Toyota FT-4X Concept car

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